Quanell X

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Quanell X
Quanell X bodyguards.jpg
Quanell X (center) at Joe Horn protest, December 2, 2007
Born Quanell Ralph Evans
(1970-12-07) December 7, 1970 (age 43)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Ethnicity African American
Occupation Activist
Organization New Black Panther Party, Nation of Islam
Religion Nation of Islam

Quanell X (/ˈɛks/; born Quanell Ralph Evans on December 7, 1970) is the leader of the New Black Panther Party in Houston, Texas.

Early life[edit]

Quanell Ralph Evans was born in Los Angeles, California. Both parents were Nation of Islam converts. When they divorced, Evans moved to Houston to live with his mother and younger brother in the South Acres neighborhood, where he attended Worthing High School.[1] Quanell was a drug dealer in the Sunnyside community located in southern Houston, Texas.[2] Quanell served jail time for selling crack cocaine in the Sunnyside and Acres Homes subdivisions in Houston, Texas, in the 1980s.

Entry and ejection from the Nation of Islam[edit]

In September, 1990, Quanell Evans was inspired by a Louis Farrakhan speech at Sam Houston Coliseum and joined the Nation of Islam against his parents' wishes. The newly dubbed Quanell X quickly became a spokesman in the organization.[3]

In July, 1992, Quanell X found his brother Quinten Evans dead in his apartment with three others, all with bullets to their heads. In August, 2009, three incarcerated men were charged with capital murder in the killings.[4] Around this time Quanell X met State Representative Ron Wilson (D-Houston); he would eventually work for Wilson as an aide for a short while.[1]

Angered by Jewish protests over a conference dedicated to "the black Holocaust, in 1995, Quanell X was quoted in the New York Daily News as saying,

"I say to Jewish America: Get ready … knuckle up, put your boots on, because we're ready and the war is going down. … The real deal is this: Black youth do not want a relationship with the Jewish community or the mainstream white community or the foot shuffling, head-bowing, knee bobbing black community. … All you Jews can go straight to hell."[5]

On January 28, 2008, after taking a tour of the Holocaust Museum Houston, Quanell said he became enlightened and apologized for his past statements on Jews.

"I seek the forgiveness of every survivor who has heard the words I've said. I did not say them in the proper manner to make the point I was trying to get across. I can see and understand how they might be utterly paranoid (of) a person such as myself."

[6]

Quanell X was forced out of the Nation of Islam for publicly inciting violence with his televised, and highly publicized, exhortation to Houston-area blacks:

"[i]f you feel that you just got to mug somebody because of your hurt and your pain, go to River Oaks and mug you some good white folks. If you’re angry that our brother is put to death, don’t burn down your own community, give these white folks hell from the womb to the tomb."[7]

After leaving the Nation of Islam, Quanell X joined a paramilitary group named "MFOI", for "Mental Freedom Obtains Independence." The new faction was not designed to attract significant exoteric membership.[8] After the MFOI removed Quanell, he joined the New Black Panther Party under the leadership of Khalid Abdul Muhammad and is now a local leader of the organization.[3]

Community activist[edit]

Since becoming a leader of the New Black Panthers, Quanell X has made himself and his views heard through public demonstrations and assistance with the surrender of outstanding suspects to law enforcement agencies. In 1999, at the trial of John William King for the 1998 slaying of James Byrd, Jr., Quanell X and his entourage briefly disrupted proceedings.[9]

Jeffrey Battle served as a bodyguard for Quanell X in Houston during the late 1990s. Battle was notable as one of the Portland Seven, a group of American Muslims who tried to aid the Taliban in Afghanistan following the events of September 11, 2001. In October 2002 Quanell X traveled to Portland, Oregon, to attend a court hearing for October Lewis, Battle's ex-wife. Lewis was released at the hearing. Battle was convicted of sedition, and is currently serving an 18-year prison sentence.[10]

On March 30, 2004 Quanell X took the podium at a Houston City Council meeting and demanded that reparations for slavery be put on the council agenda. This demand had previously been denied by mayor Bill White. The exchange escalated enough that Houston police were called to remove Quanell forcibly from the chamber.[11]

In June 2004 Quanell X was charged with evading arrest. He was on the phone with a Houston Police Department assistant police chief (Charles R. McClelland - now the HPD chief since 2010) when arranging the surrender of cop shooter Derrick Forney.[12]

Quanell X is credited with helping officers in the March 2007 murder investigation of Texas A&M University student Tynesha Stewart.[13] He helped obtain a confession from Timothy Wayne Shepherd, the suspect in the murder.[14] He also criticized the Harris County sheriff's decision not to search for Stewart's body in a Humble, Texas area landfill. Stewart's body was later discovered to be unrecoverable due to suspect burning remains in two barbecue pits.[3][15]

Quanell X called for Chuck Rosenthal's resignation following the email scandal that showed that he had sent and received racist messages, and organized a rally to take place outside the county courthouse January 24, 2008.[16] On October 16, 2008, KTRK-TV reported that Quanell X was paid $20,000.00 to arrange these protests and to pack the courtroom during the related Iberra trial.[17]

He was instrumental in having a murder suspect, Randy Sylvester Sr., reveal the locations of his missing children. After initially giving Sylvester the benefit of the doubt, he was convinced otherwise when he went with Pasadena police and Sylvester to an apartment he maintained separately from his family's that he called his "dog house." There, Sylvester engaged in drugs and pornography. Quanell X would not go into detail, but other things he learned in that apartment changed his mind about Sylvester. He convinced the suspect to "Do the right thing" and lead Quanell X and police to a location just outside of Pasadena, Texas in Houston, where the charred remains were located.[18][19][20][21]

In March 2011 Quanell X traveled to Cleveland, Texas to support 18 men allegedly involved in the gang rape of an 11 year old girl. Quannel X spoke out against the victim claiming she did not do enough to prevent herself from being gang raped. He later went on to claim the girl's parents were also responsible for her assault.

"It was not the young girl that yelled rape. Stop right there -- something is wrong, brothers and sisters", "Where was the mother? Where was the father?" [22]

On August 1, 2011, Quanell X pleaded with the residents of inner city neighborhoods to stop the "No Snitching" policy that institutes a bias of those who provide information to police after a series of crimes and murders have plagued the third ward area in recent weeks. He said, "The no-snitch policy does not work when you have having [sic] our elders and our women and our children live like hostages."[23]

In November 2011, KHOU-TV, the CBS television affiliate in Houston, reported on complaints from individuals who asserted that they paid Quanell X for help they did not receive.[24] Sandra Laday, a notable community activist in her own right, asked Quanell X to help her in finding out about her own son's murder. After giving Quanell X $600 she received no help from him and said “I feel like I was taken advantage of.” Also, Hilda Pete, who was the mother of a murder suspect, asked Quanell X to help in getting her son off murder charges. She reportedly gave Quanell X $9,000 and asserts he did very little to help her and her son. Quanell X reportedly often asks for the money upfront and in cash. Pete was quoted as saying "He's a con artist" when speaking about Quanell X.[25]

In July 2013, Quannell and others protested and effectively blocked Texas State Highway 288 over the acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.[26] Protesters on Highway 288 blocked and assaulted an elderly woman who was rushing her granddaughter to the hospital after an allergic reaction to medication.[27] A large protest was also held in the affluent River Oaks neighborhood.[28] More than 1,000[29] people attended the River Oaks demonstration and a counter-demonstration drew an estimated crowd of 80 people. Despite threats of violence, both sides kept their peace.[30][31]

Joe Horn protest[edit]

Quanell X led a rally in front of the Pasadena, Texas, home of Joe Horn on December 2, 2007. Horn had shot and killed two men - Hernando Riascos Torres (aka Miguel Antonio DeJesus) and Diego Ortiz, illegal aliens and members of a burglary and fake ID ring from Colombia. The pair had broken into a neighbor's house. Horn, against repeated requests of the 911 operator not to confront the burglars, exited his home to confront them. On the 911 tapes Horn exclaims, "Move, and you're dead", followed by three shotgun blasts.[32]

Quanell X, who thought the shootings may have been racially motivated, approached Horn's house to speak to the media. He was overwhelmed by several hundred counter-protesters protecting Horn from Quanell X's accusations. The crowd of counter-protesters included bikers revving their motorcycles, many of them chanting, "USA," "Go home," and "We love our country; what do you love?" while waving placards, Texas flags, and US flags. Quanell X could not be heard over the noise, even when using a bullhorn, and left the area about eight minutes later. He returned soon after with more supporters and attempted to speak again, but the counter-protests continued. Riot police were readied in case of violence between the two groups. Quanell X believed that because Horn was white and not black, he was not prosecuted. On June 25, 2008 the case was sent to a grand jury to decide whether or not Horn should go to trial. On June 30, 2008 Horn was cleared by a Harris County Grand Jury in the deaths of Ortiz and Diego after two weeks of testimony.[33][34] Quanell eventually made a speech on another street away from Horn's house. The speech included chants of "black power" and the exhortation for blacks to ignore "white law."[35]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Patterson, Randall (1997-04-03). "Would You Buy a Revolution From This Man?". Houston Press. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  2. ^ Crowe, Robert (2001-01-27). "Destructive Force Mars Sunnyside's Rebirth". Houston Chronicle. 
  3. ^ a b c Freemantle, Tony (2001-03-01). "Vitriolic Visionary". Houston Chronicle. p. 33. 
  4. ^ Lezon, Dale (2009-08-12). "Quanell X Gets Closure of His Own". Houston Chronicle. pp. B1, B4. 
  5. ^ "Quanell X statement, October 17, 1995". New York Daily News. October 17, 1995. 
  6. ^ Tolson, Mike and Dale Lezon. "New View of the World / Visiting Holocaust museum, activist apologizes for his past hate-filled remarks about Jews / Quanell X seeks to make amends." Houston Chronicle. Tuesday January 29, 2008. A1. Retrieved on January 14, 2009.
  7. ^ Vogel, Chris (2009-08-07). "Quanell X: The Houston activist says he's dumped the hate". The Houston Press. Retrieved 2011-02-06. 
  8. ^ Sallee, Rad (1997-02-04). "Ex-Nation of Islam official to form 'paramilitary' group". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2007-12-27. 
  9. ^ Gwynne, S.C. (2001-03-01). "The Second Coming of a Nightmare". Time. 
  10. ^ Hegstrom, Edward (2002-10-11). "Battle devoted to bin Laden, U.S. claims; Interviews cited at court hearing". The Houston Chronicle. 
  11. ^ "City Council Chamber, City Hall, Tuesday, March 30, 2004". houstontx.gov. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  12. ^ "Grand Jury Indicts Quanell X, Police-Shooting Suspect". click2houston.com. 2007-07-28. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  13. ^ Measley, Travis (2007-03-29). "Students, friends mourn loss of Houston native". The Battalion. Retrieved 2007-03-29. 
  14. ^ Crowe, Robert (2007-03-23). "Officers Grateful to Quanell X". The Houston Chronicle. pp. B5. Retrieved 2007-03-24. 
  15. ^ Hewitt, Paige; Villafranca, Armando (2007-03-23). "Agony, Anger Over Decision Not to Hunt for Teen's Body". Houston Chronicle. pp. A1. 
  16. ^ "Black leaders urge Rosenthal to step down". chron.com, Houston Chronicle. 2008-01-12. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  17. ^ Questioning Quanell X about his role "KTRK" Friday, October 17, 2008
  18. ^ Ruiz, Rosanna (2008-06-21). "Police: Burned bodies of missing Pasadena children found". Houston Chronicle. 
  19. ^ Leahy, Jennifer (2008-06-22). "The Discovery All Had Feared". Houston Chronicle. pp. A1. 
  20. ^ Leahy, Jennifer; Ruiz, Rosanna; Glenn, Mike (2008-06-22). "Father led the way to the discovery all had feared". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  21. ^ Flores, Rosa (2008-06-23). "Quanell X: Time with slain kids' father 'like diving into the depths of hell'". KHOU. Archived from the original on 2008-06-22. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  22. ^ Alleged gang rape of girl, 11, ignites firestorm in Texas community
  23. ^ STANTON, ROBERT (2011-08-01). "Quanell X: Time for 'no-snitch policy' to go". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 2011-08-02. 
  24. ^ Jeremy Rolgalski, "Quanell X under fire from Houston activists," Nov. 21, 2011, KHOU-TV Houston, at [1].
  25. ^ "Quanell X claims Houston TV news station is part of plot to kill him," Nov. 21, 2011, Houston Chronicle, crediting KHOU-TV Houston, at [2]
  26. ^ Glenn, Mike (203-07-15).Houstonians rally against Zimmerman acquittal. Houston Chronicle. http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Houstonians-rally-against-Zimmerman-acquittal-4667181.php?cmpid=hpfc
  27. ^ http://www.click2houston.com/news/local-familys-emergency-trip-to-hospital-interrupted-by-protestors/-/1735978/21009282/-/xa44gh/-/index.html
  28. ^ http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Dueling-Trayvon-Martin-protests-collide-in-River-4678150.php
  29. ^ http://newsfixnow.com/2013/07/21/more-than-1000-trayvon-supporters-flood-river-oaks/
  30. ^ http://newsfixnow.com/2013/07/21/protesters-dont-agree-but-keep-the-peace/
  31. ^ http://www.khou.com/news/local/Dueling-protests-underway-near-River-Oaks-area-216363481.html
  32. ^ Horswell, Cindy (2007-12-18). "Pasadena police give DA report on Horn". Houston Chronicle. 
  33. ^ Leahy, Jennifer (2007-12-03). "Protest over slain burglars takes a confrontational turn". Houston Chronicle. 
  34. ^ KTRK.com's video
  35. ^ Joe Horn cleared by grand jury in Pasadena shootings

External links[edit]